I want to be free is a report from Newcomers Youth – RFSL Youth’s project for LGBTQI youth with asylum experience. The report consists of two elements: a legal review of LGBTQI youth asylum cases and nine stories from LGBTQI asylum seekers.

The legal review focuses on analyzing the use of reliability criteria in the process of credibility assessment. The stories offer real-life examples of how it is to seek asylum in Sweden as a young LGBTQI person. 

The report combines the legal perspective with the stories of the youth so that it can showcase the gap that sometimes occurs, one between the legal reality and the experienced reality. The backbone of the report is the work that the Newcomers Youth has been doing since 2016, creating social meeting places and giving legal advice to young LGBTQI asylum seekers, newly arrived and undocumented. This experience showed that this group of children and youth is very vulnerable and that it is often difficult for them to secure and obtain their rights within the asylum system.  

With all this in mind, the report’s purpose is to present and highlight the experiences and situations of young LGBTQI asylum seekers and make recommendations for relevant authorities to improve.

 “I felt so good when I came to Sweden. Then I could finally be myself. I didn’t need to be afraid that someone would be after me. But it was hard to live as an openly gay in a small town like Boden. I lived with three other men with whom I did not feel comfortable because they came from the same culture as me and, in addition, were heterosexual. I got a lot of offensive comments, and no one helped me.”

David, 23 years old from Morocco


Recommendations to the Swedish Migration Agency and the migration courts that the legal review presents:

  1. Include intersex people and intersex perspectives in the work with LGBTQI issues.
  2. Evaluate the application of the detail criterion and the constancy criterion in LGBTQI cases and other cases where internal processes and identity journeys need to be reported and reflected on.
  3. The evaluation should include a norm-critical analysis of the application and view the application from a perspective that can identify hegemonic discourses. The application of these criteria should cease pending evaluation.
  4. Stop the application of the criterion of general credibility and the realism criterion within the framework of the reliability assessment in LGBTQI cases.